The Wisdom of Truth.

What is Truth?

I’d like to think that our expression on UDL (I love UDL) is often in the spirit of truth that compels the uttering of facts regardless of the consequences. As you may know, the job of a scribe is just that; Similar to a court reporter, to witness, record and express just what it ‘IS’ without alteration regardless of the influence of the surroundings, even at a time when most can’t and won’t see beyond their fear and contribute emotionally in hope of thwarting the consequences of REALITY. To do this work is a gift that  the inner relief felt is a reward worth every ounce of pain endured. At times though, I well wish I didn’t have what I call mild tourette’s syndrome.  It’s like a shield for the murderers of truth and their shortsighted ways. Some even liken the truth to a two edged sword but often the casualties of its wrath invested in the injustice of their scheme while covering their eyes, acting as though that awful  day would never arrive.

Untitled

Because of its damaging affect on lies you can see why there are sayings like; ‘You can’t handle the truth, The truth will set you free’ and ‘The truth is bitter to taste but sweet to swallow’.

The foundation of truth is firm and unbreakable, whereas lies are on shaky and temporary ground. Some scriptures use beautiful metaphors using other species, animals, and states of being even though  the point is most often missed. Take for instance the condition of a spider making a home out of its web, it is only a matter of time until it is fractured or destroyed, having to start over, again and again. But more importantly few consider the stresses that the spider lives to endure, not knowing if the next disrupting vibration is an attack, potential food or just simply the wind. This parallels the fear of a deceptive scheme being penetrated  when living a lie. It takes little imagination to know that a spider can never really rest because at any moment there will be an unpredictable disturbance.  It and its abode may be gone in an instant or carried to a new location just because somebody got their face in their business. The spiders home is external and that is precisely the point. The self inflicted stresses that words from outside of the true self create on the traducer. Always on edge expecting an attack at any moment. Words such as  ‘rest assured’ do not exist in that un-reality. Such a weak foundation is without a centre or any true support, merely existing in a 3 dimensional delusion that holds as a temporary space time moment, marking only a half relevant event in time similar to a tattoo.

a-spider-in-its-web-70867

If I were religious at all I would strongly suggest Tehuti of Kemet, more widely known as Hermes or Thoth of Egypt, to be UDL’s patron saint and every organisation for that matter. The god is known to record whether or not a feather will outweigh the heart of the object passing from life to death, in order for it to become a contributing part of the cosmic family from its organic state, onto the ethereal and back again.

Most living organisms adhere to such because, in innocence their language remains pure, straightforward and static. Yet humans…oh humans…some are most comfortable with performing word acrobatics, not for entertainment purposes but, to twist pure words and change the nature of actuality with verisimilitude.

tehuti weighing

If it’s not poetic it is a lie.

Yet truth is not a word for an over-active ego that would use the sanctity of the audible symbols or ‘ spell-ing’ to conquer and defend a point without care or concern for our shared cosmic justice. No, truth is for the wise and the mindful. One may see truth as more of a preservation of the soul or a star gate rather than a way to wax the ego, knowing that beyond the exoteric eye there is the unseen eye that becomes manifest as judge, not at the beginning of the issue but at the end or transformation, just as it is portrayed in the Book of The Dead.

The idea of a subjective truth is more western dribble, a breeding ground for lies, transforming the heart to impedimenta sinking the Soul to a base 3dimensional return, where the gift of words are no longer there to use giving meaning to the statement ‘lost for words’.  You can just imagine a gazelle observing two human mouths chattering away staring puzzled with a feeling of familiarity. He reminisces, having this cosmic déjá vu moment, before being gorged by a local predator that also speaks a foreign language where each sound means only one thing, death! For the poor animal it would take multiple life cycles to understand the subtleties of our verbal communication which may well have been the preserver of its life, but we, having the privilege of this communication, this gift of sound we choose to abuse it. Yet within all of this thankfully some do see a gift, the gift of a psychological bridge to reach all amongst the other animals. If the Jungle community could intellectualise with their peers maybe they may see a reduced rate of mortality over time for being able to vebalise and rationalise each creatures basic needs, emotional direction and concerns in the most intricate detail. Yet here this man with all of this ability and potential stands disconnected and abusive towards the beautiful gift of word communication and uses all this as a weapon for his egotistical needs.

d45c8eef6aa126f8220d6535b0e01ff3

My deep love for music and poetry stems from experiencing this pure expression of truth, we are like Poeticians, standing by what we have felt. In historical religious doctrine you will find subtle allusions to the poets and artists of old. Clearly we were despised for speaking the unadulterated language of the heavens; Metaphor. The realm where there is no debate, it just is and it is known by it’s consistent, resounding results in all colours, platforms and dimensions. Though this does contradict mans philosophies, mans opinions and their academic collections that are really nothing but recycled shrapnel from the purity of dead poets messages regurgitated.  And so the poets were demonised and faced with change the message, be silent or die. So here we are some silent, some transformed and some dead. Even at a time of desperation and gross, terrific, political turmoil words of truth are still for sale. But the voice will return only when elevated thought can rise up to the top floor beyond interruption from  the selfish ego and it’s continuous pressing to join the party on the journey up, and so return to earth with unadulterated sound vibration.

Maybe there’s a Karmic link that justifies Maat’s weighing of the heart with Tehuti  taking acount , maybe (I say with full knowledge) the incarnate is received through the justice of its own past actions in respect of living truth. It could be that there is a pecking order based on this honesty and we lose what we have abused. Maybe its all random and conflicting like earth beliefs and there is no cosmic pattern?

Here is an interesting and passionate challenge that happened last year. Richard Boyd Barrett a TD (Teachta Dála) for the Dún Laoghai Irish parliament has (what appears to me) an inward experience and incredibly releases about 60 years of history in just about 6 minutes of poetry, brandishing the truth and putting everything on the line.

I warn you, some may want to cover their ears and effectively continue this warping of the unrestrained heavenly chords but one way or another the impact of truth being aired regardless of the consequences lightens your load.

By Angel Lewis Twitter @Iam_Angellewis

PRM-01-GR0014-01P

Could have, should have, didn’t. UPDATE

It’s almost a year since this touching article spewed out of me. I don’t mean to offend when I say it almost takes another artist to understand what it means to have to exorcise that thing that’s running around inside your head. It’s like an emotional release that can almost claim to be the main reason you resumed sleeping deeply again.

Still there were lingering thoughts regarding why the sad event happened. Even among the community that suffered the losses, there were questions, hunches, blame and rumours. The painful  story was expressed already and as the flowers have dried and the caskets have been filled and buried it makes no sense for me to personally revisit the event in any detail, so here’s how The Guardian puts our questions to rest.

Photograph: Reuters
Press Association Tuesday 20 October 2015 12.51 BST

Shelley Christopher denies two counts of murder and one of attempted murder by reason of insanity.

A woman killed her partner and their four-year-old daughter to prevent the world being taken over by vampires, a court has heard.

Shelley Christopher, 36, was mentally ill when she stabbed 42-year-old Richard Brown 29 times and her daughter Sophia six times before inserting wooden objects into their bodies.

Christopher also attacked another child and put a pencil in her body, but despite her injuries, the girl survived, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told jurors. She cannot be identified.

Christopher, of Notting Hill in west London, went to a mental health unit in north Kensington in February, two days before the killings, and told staff that someone was out to get her. She refused pleas to stay at the unit and went home.

She is on trial at the Old Bailey on two counts of murder and one of attempted murder, which she denies by reason of insanity.

Opening the trial, Aylett told jurors: “I’m afraid that this is a distressing case which you will find both terrible and tragic. Ms Christopher was later to tell a psychiatrist that, on the day of the killings, she had received a signal instructing her to kill her family in order to prevent the world from being taken over by vampires.

“The signal had come from a lightbulb in the ceiling. She had done – or tried to do – what she was told. After she had attacked each of them with a knife, the lightbulb had told her to put something wooden into each of their chests in order to stop them from becoming vampires.

“That Ms Christopher must have been mentally unwell at this time is borne out by the findings of the doctors who examined the victims. From Richard’s chest cavity, the pathologist recovered part of a child’s paint brush. The pathologist who examined Sophia’s body retrieved part of a pencil.”
Advertisement

A psychiatrist concluded that Christopher, who is now in a secure hospital, had been suffering from a psychotic illness, most likely paranoid schizophrenia, at the time.

Aylett told jurors that when a defendant enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, it was for them, not a judge or psychiatrist, to decide the case on the evidence.

Police found the bodies of Brown and Sophia when they went to the family home on 27 February, days after the killings.

They discovered Brown in the bath and Sophia in bed with a towel over her face, the court heard. Her chest had been covered with coloured plasters and a plastic flower was placed in her right hand.

Social services alerted officers after Christopher attended St Mary’s hospital with the injured child the day before. When doctors operated, they removed a 6.5cm-long broken pencil from the child’s chest.

After her arrest, Christopher told a psychiatrist the colours red, orange and green had become significant to her, with red meaning that she or someone in her family was going to be killed.

She said she had left the mental health unit at St Charles hospital before her assessment was complete because she thought there were vampires there.

On 19 February, she said she had received an orange signal instructing her to kill in order to prevent the world being taken over by vampires. First, she attacked the surviving child, by strangling and then stabbing her with a plastic flower and a small knife.

When Brown arrived with Sophia and asked what was going on, Christopher said: “You’re one of them. You’re a vampire.” She then stabbed him repeatedly in the chest.

She told the psychiatrist that Brown’s eyes had changed colour and he had tried to bite her with his fangs. According to her account, Sophia cried out “no mummy!” and when Christopher asked her if she was “one of them”, the girl replied “yes, I am mummy,” so she stabbed her too.

Aylett told jurors that if they agreed with the assessment, Christopher would receive a hospital order and return to the secure unit where she would remain “for some considerable time to come”.

The case continues.

Article from The Guardian 20th October 2015

All about ME – The Guru Within Chronic Fatigue

IMG_20151018_092100

What happens when you run yourself in to the ground with work, stress and life? This is what I have been finding out and the results have been more educational and transformative than I could possibly have imagined…

One Wednesday in October 2014 after I suddenly started to feel run down, beat up and for some reason itchy, I was anticipating perhaps needing a day or two off work to recuperate. Months later I was still off, diagnosed with ‘fatigue’ by the doctors.

At first I found this a painful mental struggle: I fought back, thinking each night that if I felt okay at six the next morning I’d go back to work. I could barely concentrate on anything, but managed to function enough get through the days, albeit fairly miserably, at work and off work.

Not yet trusting my body, and listening to the doctors and everybody else (everybody seems to know the cure) I set about on a policy of doing whatever was suggested to me, including the following (not always simultaneously): Resting; Not resting, but getting back to work; Working part-time; Working full-time; Eating no red meat; Eating red meat; Drinking coconut water; Drinking more water; Eating spinach; Exercising; Anti-depressants; Mindfulness; Vitamins; Other supplements that boost energy; Taking a mystery potion every day; Not sleeping for more than eight hours at a time and so on etc.

All the advice was well-intentioned and gratefully received, but what I wasn’t doing, and what I now believe was the cause of my crash, was listening to the wisest teacher of all: my body.

My ego had been dictating terms for years. My ego was allied to my mind, that brutal ruler who would tell me: ‘you’re not doing enough’ – ‘Yes, take on that extra project’ – ‘Do the right thing’ – ‘This is what you should be doing’ – ‘If you keep suffering you’ll get there in the end.’ You just haven’t earned it yet baby. Sound familiar?

I was letting this mind-ego complex run my life, telling me that I could juggle, control and manipulate any and every situation.

Was I that far removed from my true nature? From the compassionate self that knows that what I am is enough already, that I don’t have to prove anything to anybody?

Well, my body wasn’t removed at all – how can it be? It shut down when I embarked on a restive period of moving flat and starting one full time and three part-time jobs, balancing all of these with childcare, relationships etc…

And after that initial phase of crash and burn, in which my ego’s defeat was initiated, and after trying earnestly and repeatedly to get back to good old work, I embarked upon a new approach:

I slept whenever my body ached, whenever I felt like it. And I carried on, allowing my body, my gut instinct, to dictate.

This meant relief from the grinding exhaustion. But something was still lacking. That something was my acceptance of what was, and what is. I still believed that I could control my health and my life.  

So then, every day I made a point of acknowledging that I was powerless over my fatigue. And here is where I am so grateful: I came to believe that I burned out for a reason: to teach me to live according to my nature, to live in harmony with the world around me and end the illusion of control. To learn that the droning, punishing voice in my head is devilishly misleading. My mind is a useful tool, but if it is left in sole control, it causes chaos. ‘Once you achieve X, Y or Z, you’ll be happy’ it says ad nauseam.

I adapted to exhaustion with siestas, shorter days and less energy. I did it by enjoying the time I had and the exercise I could do. And I found that by looking after myself I became much more able to engage with others and enjoy life, which releases its own energies.

The seasons have come and gone, and as the cold nights draw in I’m reflecting on a year of chronic fatigue, or ME. I now take eight different supplements/vitamins every day (you pretty much have to work it out yourself), write and do other bits of work. I play football again and swim. I’ve started a course of acupuncture. I haven’t given up on leading an interesting life one bit.

Why? 

I’m on a different journey now, one of acceptance and faith that illness, by leading me to pay attention to my body, could be the making of me. Fresh beginnings and a harmonious life are the fruits of my diligent acceptance.

Of course it’s not always easy – CFS is not something I would wish upon anyone, and I type this on the back of two days of frustration at the limits imposed by this illness. I fought back, refusing to accept my temporary limits and had to learn again that I have to be mindful of what my body is saying. By staying open to what my illness can teach me, it can be a blessing.

KPH


       

Enticingly on the street corner she stands

        this old Victorian lady of the night

        yet all who enter these doors

        venture into another time and dimension

         where those that imbibe

        unwittingly star in their very own play

        as we seek to save our KPH

        iconic symbol of a bygone age

         before social cleansing and gentrification

        fuelled the rage of this band of brothers,

        sisters ,fathers, mothers, lifetime friends,

        part time lovers, black, white, rich, poor

       those that have lived outside the law!

       Like Shane or John Wayne we’ll stand for what’s right

      Johnny Cash’s man in black the band plays tonight !

        But this is no Alamo or Custer’s last stand

      our community diversity culture never figured in your plans

        as you seek to destroy what you fear and don’t understand

        you redevelop our estates, pubs, kick us out of our homes

       but your money can never buy our spirit heart n’ soul

       the true vibe of the Grove……………………..M C Bolton

KPH

How Local Businesses see KPH

20150922_181059
Photo by Angel Lewis

You will have already read our blog about the predicament facing the Kensington Park Hotel and what it means for the local area.

We thought it would be interesting to follow this up by gaging local reaction to the news that KPH might soon be closing to make way for flats for the rich. Rather than stating the obvious (that the public supports KPH and opposes the building of more luxury homes,) your intrepid dandies set out to ask local businesses what they thought.

Methodology: We asked everyone, indiscriminately and inclusively as long as their business was situated a stone’s throw from the KPH…

 

  • Music Village (we can throw a long way).

Receptionist: ‘I’m not from the area, nobody in here is’

UD: ‘What? Nobody? About 50 people have passed through the reception area since we’ve been here’

‘Nobody’

UD: ‘But what do you think about the fact that a local music venue is closing?’

‘                                                               ‘

An inauspicious start, but we headed north, away from their mirrored windows, closer to KPH…

  • Fish Monger

‘They should let it run, it’s a good place for music. They bring lots of people, they should keep it open’

‘It’s a charming venue. The area is much more diverse now since they improved it’

‘It’s a shame especially because they spend lots of money here, the KPH buy from here’

‘If they become a chain they will buy elsewhere not from local shops’

UD note: Chain being the pertinent word as this would break many links in the chain of supported stores.

  • Dry Cleaners

‘They are our customers, he uses our services’ (her colleague looking on curiously)

Why?’ (distressed now) 

‘What’s happened?’

We explain

‘Oh no! That’s a shame, it’s a very nice place. I know the staff working there, I go there a lot. I never go to the other pub, this one is friendly, everyone is going there, why they want to close? I think it’s not a good idea.

UD: ‘Why do you like it so much?

‘It’s just KPH’

‘I would like to live in this area because it’s nice; rich people live here, poor people live here, it’s very nice, it’s not like this everywhere’

  • The Bank

(Staff member expressed surprise when we informed him, bearing in mind you don’t normally go to banks for a chat about local goings on, but we’re just UD and we had to seek that balance) 
‘You mean Mr.Powers (sic)? The Mean Fiddler? I’m local to the Mean Fiddler so I know him’ (What followed was all positive but off the record so the iron eagle doesn’t swoop on this friendly soul)

  • Furniture shop  

‘It might be closing? I didn’t know, but good I’m happy. The manager keeps parking on our premises without asking. So I don’t go there. Well, I went there once, but not any more’

‘Compared to the way it used to be its a lot better, the clientele is better. He should just ask and I would probably say yes if he has the decency but on a business level it’s a conflict of interest. If rich people move in they might buy furniture from me. We’re a mid-range furniture shop’

‘On the broader picture, I’m completely opposed to this sort of thing, it affects communities and it’s not good for society. It’s always nice to have a local pub and it’s sad to see this type of thing happening’

  • Estate Agents John D. Wood & Co

‘We go there for drinks a lot, I didn’t know that it might be closing. He turned it all around. That’s a shame, it’s been there for such a long time. It was a mess before he came in and did what he did’ 

‘We now go there and that’s testimony to what he has achieved’  

‘Yeah it’s right in the area and we go in and say hello to him. It should stay, well those are my thoughts. It’s such a shame, what’s happening in London’

(At this point I must say, it seems to sound a little scripted but in truth these are the unadulterated views of the local businesses surrounding the venue)

  • Local Chip shop 

‘I don’t personally drink but it’s sad if it’s going, it’s bad enough having a Cafe Nero over there (pointing), it’s a bit like an extension of Holland Park and not Ladbroke Grove. Like all of these coffee shops, there’s no unique coffee shops anymore, there’s no authenticity’

‘I grew up in this area, now I travel here for work and the area is changing, it’s all for rich people now’

  • Local Betting Shop

 ‘Huh? I’m only here covering for the day’ (Okay, moving on swiftly)  

  • Estate Agents Bective Leslie Marsh

(Now here’s a surprise) ‘We weren’t aware of that…I’m stunned, I didn’t know’

(A suited, authoritative looking character stands up and takes over the conversation)

‘Great music venue upstairs. I’ve been to some great gigs there. I thought it was listed as a place of community value. If people realised what was really going on they’d be gutted. 

The problem with this area is you can’t go out and drink because it was all built by the methodist church back then. If people knew what was going on….gutted. If there’s a petition going around, I’ll sign it’ 

‘Yeah I’d be happy to participate. Y’see, Golborne Road end is more community and the Portobello end is now more sanitised. We’ve seen that reflected in property prices; rich people moving to the area now want to live on Golborne instead of Portobello because they see it as authentic. The community is what gives the area its value. The property value is actually based on the community’

‘It will be sad to see it go’

  • Post Office/News Agent

Business is good while they are there, I can sell my cans to their customers for £1.00 while they are there charging £4 a pint’ (smiling)

‘I didn’t know they were closing. It’s improved a lot’

  • Florist

‘I didn’t know (UD note: nobody knows) – it’s a great pub, but it’s what’s happening everywhere’

‘The music is great. It’s weird, to hear classical music played that loud. At first, we had no idea what was going on (laughing) but it’s a great pub’.

UD: ‘The council is assisting the speculators in taking it over’

‘That’s no surprise, they would have got rid of us if we weren’t just the ground floor. Everything in this area will be flats soon’.

 

 

By Angel Lewis and Tom Charles

Of The Community and For The Community…

20150922_181059

…that’s how Kensington Park Hotel and its proprietor, Vince Power could be described. But the continued existence of this much-loved pub and music venue are under threat from the wave of gentrification sweeping West London.

Sitting in the KPH with my fellow Dandies early one morning was an experience not obtainable at Café Nero over the road. In the upstairs Grove Theatre, a sense of 150 years of history pervaded and stimulated conversations about life, politics, love, incarceration, slavery, music and more. By the time our host, Mr Power, arrived, we were fully absorbed by the ambience of the theatre’s vintage arm chairs, the old photographs and the Beethoven blasting out from the bar downstairs.

On that night was Plurabelles, a performance exploring the evocation of women in James Joyce’s writing, priced at £5. Coming soon might be a luxury penthouse flat for the rich, as speculators seek to acquire KPH and turn a quick profit.

Kensington and Chelsea council talks a good game about preserving the bohemian character of the area, but the council has stripped the KPH of its status as an “asset of community value” on the technicality that the title had been applied for by supporters of the pub, known as KPH United.

Power has found himself embattled. In court, the speculators SWA Developments, in the judge’s words, used the “kitchen sink method”, utilising every conceivable legal method and technicality, to try to force through the sale.

SWA now own the freehold, so KPH’s best hope for survival is to obtain listing as an English Heritage building. Power sees the best case scenario as the pub being bought by the community, which would keep the freehold safe. Without such a move, even if KPH survives in the short term, the speculators will start circling again soon enough.

Power’s legal battle has forced SWA to back down on its plans, revealed in court papers, to change the ground floor “from a public house to another commercial use” but of course this is no guarantee that what replaces the KPH will be anything other than more sanitary gentrification in an area fast losing its charm.

Sitting with him in the bar downstairs, it became clear that profit is not Power’s driving force. In fact, Power had the aura of a Laotian Buddhist monk, speaking with a knowing compassion that cut through ego and put his guests at ease.

As we sit, Power chats easily about politics, society, the local area and music. Having lived between Kilburn and Ladbroke Grove for 50 years, he believes passionately in the multi-cultural London that KPH is a part of. He stated “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in London. It’s this mix of people that gives children an understanding of their fellow human beings”.

As he held court, Power broke off now and again from the KPH story to make observations on politics or on passers-by. He seems to understand how all things are connected. At one point he stopped what he was saying and pointed at three women wearing hijabs over the road, holding an animated conversation as they rooted around in their handbags. “I bet those ladies have got some stories to tell” he says. He reflects on gentrification and the destruction of inclusive communities, drawing a straight line between a society in which some people have no sense of belonging and the decision of some Londoners to travel to Syria to join ISIS. And this connects to the UK’s planning laws, which he describes as “so wide that they’re written for the developer” with loopholes that allow investors to evade the building of social housing.

But Vince Power is no nostalgic romantic, he has made things happen throughout his career. The transformation of the KPH has been remarkable and he has balanced the need for change with preserving the pub’s inclusivity. Down the road is a mental health day care centre and Power is happy to welcome its patients for their lunchtime drink, unlike some local landlords. Prior to the KPH, Power made his name running the Mean Fiddler, Benicàssim among other festivals, as well as organising the Sex Pistols’ Finsbury Park reunion. Locally, Power had Subterranea and the Ion Bar, which is now Sainsburys Local.

Vince Power at the KPH on Ladbroke Grove. Photos by Angel Lewis.
Vince Power at the KPH on Ladbroke Grove. Photo by Angel Lewis.

KPH is a viable, profitable business with great potential. Unlike SWA’s plans for the building, it works. The only access to the rooms upstairs is through the pub, so how it can be changed in to flats while maintaining a public house downstairs is a mystery yet to be explained by the speculators.

The few remaining venues like KPH generate much of the interest in the area that attracts the tourists and investors. They represent the area’s last stand against the imposition of an arid future. The area’s qualities are traded on to make money, but once they’re gone, the value they provided will be gone too. In this way gentrification destroys the thing that was used to attract people in the first place.

By Tom Charles